The first donation a charity gets is often the most important one
There are many fantastic charitable projects that are too young or too small for the majority of funders to consider. Or that require not only funding but also more engaged forms of mentorship to start an impactful organization. This year, Charity Entrepreneurship received a truly massive number of applications: over 3,000, with many of these applications strong enough - with support - to potentially start a charity that could lead in its field. We have decided to start a fund for early-stage seed grants to support these new organizations.
What this fund will cover
We currently offer seed funding to charities that go through the CE incubation program, and such seed grants would be covered by the fund. However, the fund would also have a higher level of flexibility and be able to support, for example:
What this fund will not cover
This fund is not likely to grant out to organizations that do not have the potential of being as cost-effective as (or more so than) GiveWell’s top charities for humans or ACE’s top charities for animals. It will generally not grant out to organizations with better counterfactual sources of funding. It will likely grant out to relatively few charities a year (we expect under 20, including the seed grants given to charities that attend the program) and have a very high bar for project promisingness. It will also not fund CE operations or our program costs.
Who should donate to this fund
The best fit for supporters of this fund would be for-profit entrepreneurs, donors who are comfortable with risk, and donors who see a high value in new organizations coming into existence and in being the first catalyst. It would also be a good fit for donors who want to see more organizations like Fortify Health, Happier Lives Institute, Fish Welfare Initiative, or other organizations that have been founded via the program. Additionally, this could be a strong fit for people who are particularly excited by new projects and think there is a high potential for an area to be improved by new organizations. We also think it a strong fit for people who are not sold on a single cause area or who think that new cause areas could be highly impactful.
Who should not donate to this fund
We expect even with rigorously selected charities 50% or more of them will not live up to our hopes and expectations. Thus, we would advise against risk-averse donors or donors looking at impact in the next 1-3 years donating to this fund. We also think this fund is a weaker choice for those who believe the charity market is highly efficient and that the best charities will get founded even absent early-stage support.
Size of this fund
We expect this fund to be able to effectively donate $500,000 - $1,000,000 to highly effective new charities each year. We expect this will be distributed to 10-50 organizations and possible founders out of the thousands that we are in contact with each year.
Overall, we think this fund provides a strong and unique option for a number of donors who are highly interested in entrepreneurship. Given our track record and strong network of founders and mentors (see below), we think we can make use of a larger amount of funding dedicated to the area.
Please contact our Senior Operations Lead Andrew if you are interested in contributing to the CE Fund (from $1,000). He will be able to organize one-on-ones with the CE leadership and share account details.
Contributions to Charity Entrepreneurship below $1,000 can be made through our Donation page.
Many thanks for your support!
Proven track record after only two years
Fortify Health (2018)
Our guest speakers and mentors